Objective: To determine the prevalence of water-borne diseases and perceived quality of drinking water in a low socioeconomic area of
Material and Methods:A cross-sectional study was conducted in a low-income area of Noorpur Shahan, a slum area in the outskirts of Islamabad. All houses of this area were visited by an investigator and a self-administered, validated questionnaire was filled from one member of the family. Data was collected and analyzed through SPSS version 21.
Results: Sixty houses were included in this study out of which 3 households were excluded due to recent relocation in the area. Nearly 70% of the studied population drank water from water supply by the municipal department of the city. More than half of the families
(59.6%) stated that they currently have or had an infection in the last three months due to water borne disease with diarrhea (22.8%) being the most common presentation. Observations were reported by the respondents about the quality of drinking water such as bad taste (52.6%), foul smell (38.6%) and turbidity (47.4%).
Conclusion:Slum areas of Islamabad lack access to clean drinking water with the quality of water generally being poor. This also results in a high burden of water-borne diseases and the spread of infectious disease which may cause epidemics. Further studies are required to see the chemical analysis of water to see if it is fit for drinking and to carry studies in various nearby areas so that urgent action can be taken regarding the provision of clean and safe drinking water.
Waterborne diseases, quality, drinking water, Pakistan